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"Doing Bad to Do A Little Good: What's the Point??"

Are we sharp enough to recognize the game?

Here’s why I ask:

How would you feel if you saw a commercial saying that we should combat violence in the streets and for each person that buys a gun we will donate a dollar to research on how to eliminate violence. Does this seem a little bit hypocritical or illogical ?

Well this is exactly the kind of logic that Kentucky Fried Chicken used in a recent campaign. “Complete your meal with a MegaJug...” (This is a half gallon of soda) “…and KFC will donate $1.00 to the Juvenile Diabetes research fund. Help us find a cure!”

On our blog we’ve talked about how drinking too many sugary beverages (which are mostly the kind of beverages KFC serves) is a major cause for the increase in type 2-diabetes among black teens.  Apparently Kentucky Fried Chicken is also aware of the increase in juvenile diabetes, so this is their solution – drink more sugary drinks?? Wait a minute. What!! Are you serious? Are you really trying to persuade the black community that you care about diabetes by asking us to buy ridiculous sizes of soda or other sugary beverages that lead to an increase in diabetes? Did you (KFC) really just say “Help us find a cure?” Aren’t you the same company that created a “sandwich” that consists of bacon and some kind of cheese product between not one, but TWO pieces of fried chicken?

Wouldn’t one of the biggest “cures” be for blacks to significantly REDUCE their intake of your Hyper fried and Hyper sweetened products? Of course this isn’t the first time that KFC has undertaken a campaign like this.  Another blog recently pointed out that KFC has already shown their true colors with their equally absurd “Buckets for the Cure” campaign (

And it’s important to point out that this is not just about KFC. Other campaigns such as the Pepsi Refresh campaign ( use similar logic. It’s about whether we are sharp enough to recognize the game.

After reading George’s blog last week I think it’s time that we recognize two things about these kinds of confusing health message campaigns:

  1. At their core they are advertising campaigns that aim to sell products that cause the health problems that we want to solve; and
  2. They invite us to see fast food and sugar-sweetened beverage companies as part of the solution to health problems instead of as major contributors to unhealthy food and beverages environments.

If you recognize the game then share this post with your friends - SHIFTDemand


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